Leisure & Tourism sector in Mexico

Leisure & Tourism sector in Mexico

Mexico is among the top 10 tourist destinations in the world and is ranked as the 4th Americas country in the Tourism Competitiveness Index. By 2018 it is expected to be within the world’s top 5 destinations

Market overview

Mexico gets impressive marks for its biodiversity. It is ranked 5th overall and is one of the few countries where you can find all the 10 major ecosystems in the world. The country’s cultural resources are also among the world’s best, being 10th in terms of monuments of archaeological importance. Mexico has 110,000 monuments and 37 UNESCO World Heritage Cultural sites, more than any other country in the world.

The tourism market represents 9% of the GDP. It is the third most important source of foreign exchange. It represents more than 7.5 million jobs from 43,000 economic units. 80% of these are small and medium enterprises.

The Secretary of Tourism informed that in 2011 the private investment in tourism was US$3.7 bIllion, 5.5% higher than 2010.

Mexico’s main tourist investment opportunities regions are: Cancún, Ixtapa, Los Cabos, Loreto, Huatulco, Sinaloa, Nayarit and Marina Cozumel.

During 2011 the Ministry of Tourism invested 20 million dollars to build tourism infrastructure in the cities that are considered World Heritage by UNESCO.

Key opportunities

There is a great effort focusing on promoting the Mundo Maya region of Mexico. This includes the states of Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Yucatán.

Yet amid such natural richness there are areas that require attention to develop a better tourism environment, such as ground transport infrastructure. This includes

  • The construction and planning of roads with high technology equipment

  • A development of ICT tourism infrastructure, with the automation of hotels, airports and car rental companies

  • Human resource training that is focused on English language education in key regions.

Other interesting areas that represent promising new trends of tourism investment are luxury, sustainable, LGBT and medical tourism. These sectors have started to be explored by major enterprises of the sector

Another area of relevance is golf, with over US$100 billion worth of golf-related resort and real estate development taking place all over Mexico in 2010, making golf one of the fastest growing and most important segments of Mexico’s tourist and real estate industries.

Golf in Mexico has a significant potential market, with more than 200,000 golf rounds being played annually in Cabo San Lucas. Cabo San Lucas is considered Mexico’s golf capital and has millions of golfers coming from the West coast and Southeast of the US to play in its golf courses

The Sectorial Tourism Programme 2007-2012 has, as its goal, the task of improving competitiviness to reflect a private investment total of US$20 billion during each presidential term, annually creating 125,000 new and better paid jobs.

In February 2011, the Secretary of Tourism declared that the Country had been ranked No.2 worldwide in luxury tourism division and No.2 in terms of Spas, representing areas of opportunity for British companies.

By doing some strategic activities, Mexico will offer the following business opportunities to British companies:

  • New developments.

  • Golf course designers and developers.

  • Hotel/Resort investors.

  • Hospitality technology.

  • Specialised and niche products related to the luxury, sustainable, LGBT and Medical Sector.

  • Marine leisure.

  • Sports and recreational products for adventure travel

Latest export opportunities in Leisure & Tourism

Latest export opportunities – Mexico

Getting into the market

The process of establishing a business in Mexico involves the three levels of government.The institutions involved are the Ministry of Communications and Transport (SCT), the Ministry of Tourism, in coordination with the Federal Regulatory Improvement Commission (COFEMER) and the President and the council of the municipality in concern.

Mexican Official Standards (NOM), are technical regulations establishing specifications and procedures to ensure that services meet in the context of the purposes and functions for which they were designed, with safety features, interchangeability, reliability and quality, among others.Currently, there are three units approved to verify that the NOM are applied in the industry:

Mexican Society of Standardization and Certification, SC (NORMEX)

Factual Services, S.C.

Network Quality Verification and Quality Systems, Inc. de CV

More about doing business in Mexico


Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).

To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.

Contact your local international trade team


UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.

Expo de Viaje 2013

18-19 May, 2013


Expo Hotel 2013

12-14 June, 2013



Expo Golf 2013

23-26 June 2013



26-29, August, 2013


Latest events Mexico

Latest events – Leisure & Tourism

Useful links

More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters

Sectors: Leisure & Tourism
Countries: Mexico
Export Action Plan